Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

OPINION: Here we are again: from campus to the couch

James Bartlett
Student on computer.

Does anyone else have déjà vu? As the Spring 2022 semester commenced online, it felt similar to the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Though the choice to be online for the first two weeks while the Omicron variant surged was a good call to ensure the safety of students, that doesn’t mean it’s any easier to swallow. 

As someone who is adamantly pro-safety and errs on the side of caution, taking classes from my couch lacked the excitement I felt in fall of 2021. It is completely reasonable and absolutely the right call to keep students off campus for now, but after having a taste of on-campus life, I find myself struggling to engage. 

This is my final semester of my senior year at Suffolk University and I miss the feeling of the classroom. I miss joking with my peers and chatting with my professors. I miss sitting in The Suffolk Journal office and cracking open my AP Style Guide. 

I don’t think I’m the only one feeling this way. I see it in the way students keep their cameras off, or how the professors struggle to connect with their classes. I see it in the breakout rooms that are a sad replacement for in class discussions. 

But isn’t the struggle worth the safety of those who are immunocompromised? I think it is. Though this is not the ideal college experience, this is the new normal. This is the reality that we live in and we need to start accepting that. 

The health of those around us is more important than our discomfort from our couches, beds or desks. 

It’s not all bad. There’s something to be said for having your own space around you while learning. It’s nice to have a pot full of coffee and a snoring dog by your side. 

Let’s not forget about the commute for those living off-campus, those of us who have to deal with the T and all the weirdness that goes along with it. I could live without seeing someone pull a tooth out of their partner’s mouth again, a real experience I had. 

There’s also the benefit of having more time to study, do assigned reading, projects and work in various clubs that Suffolk offers. 

This might not be perfect, it might not be easy, but it’s doable. 

As we gear up to return to campus, I have anxiety. Anxiety that people won’t wear their masks properly. Fear that I’ll get the new variant, after having contracted COVID in the past. 

I feel like we are toeing the line between going back, masked up, boosted and vaccinated and the probability that Suffolk could close their doors again at any time. 

Though I don’t covet online classes, there is a certain appeal to skipping a four hour graduation ceremony in favor of attending remotely, in cap and gown, surrounded by those I love. Especially since logging off after your name is called sounds better than sitting in an auditorium for hours on end. 

The point is, we are lucky to have options and though they may not be perfect, it’s a privilege to be able to attend classes with professors who challenge and work with us, in spite of the remoteness of our individual selves.

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About the Contributors
Ashley Fairchild
Ashley Fairchild, Asst. Copy Editor | she/her
Ashley is a senior majoring in print/web Journalism. Outside of Suffolk, she can typically still be found with her nose in a book and her hand wrapped around a coffee mug. She enjoys lifting weights, finding new cafes and most importantly, playing with her dog, Pepper.
Follow Ashley on Twitter @AshleyFairchi14
James Bartlett
James Bartlett, Multimedia Editor | he/him
James Bartlett is a senior studying print and web journalism. Originally from Lowell, Massachusetts, James has a strong interest in photojournalism and new journalism tools such as podcasting and user-generated content. James is currently a Web Journalist at WHDH Channel 7 and has previously worked at and the Newburpoty Daily News. Follow James on Twitter @James_bartlett8 Email him at [email protected]

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OPINION: Here we are again: from campus to the couch